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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020540

Monitoring Walker Assistive Devices: A Novel Approach Based on Load Cells and Optical Distance Measurements

1
Instituto de Telecomunicações, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
2
ESTSetúbal, Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, 2910-761 Setúbal, Portugal
3
ISCTE—Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, 1600-077 Lisboa, Portugal
4
Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
This paper is an extended version of our conference paper: Dias Pereira J.M., Viegas V., Postolache O., Girão, P.S. Combining distance and force measurements to monitor the usage of walker assistive devices. 2017 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, Torino, Italy, 22–25 May 2017.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Force and Pressure Based Sensing Medical Application)
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Abstract

This paper presents a measurement system intended to monitor the usage of walker assistive devices. The goal is to guide the user in the correct use of the device in order to prevent risky situations and maximize comfort. Two risk indicators are defined: one related to force unbalance and the other related to motor incoordination. Force unbalance is measured by load cells attached to the walker legs, while motor incoordination is estimated by synchronizing force measurements with distance data provided by an optical sensor. The measurement system is equipped with a Bluetooth link that enables local supervision on a computer or tablet. Calibration and experimental results are included in the paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: force measurement; distance measurement; walker assistive device; gait analysis; usage monitoring force measurement; distance measurement; walker assistive device; gait analysis; usage monitoring
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Viegas, V.; Dias Pereira, J.M.; Postolache, O.; Girão, P.S. Monitoring Walker Assistive Devices: A Novel Approach Based on Load Cells and Optical Distance Measurements. Sensors 2018, 18, 540.

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